From the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas to Merlefest in North Carolina, from the Ryman Auditiorium in Nashville to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Beppe Gambetta has made music grounded in American roots music and bluegrass but infused with elements of his native Italy. With his disarming smile and engaging personality, he demonstrates not only his impressive guitar technique but also his musical honesty and taste. After 11 CD and collaborations with the likes of Doc Watson, David Grisman, Norman Blake, and Dan Crary, Beppe Gambetta has cemented his reputation as one of the masters of the acoustic guitar.
Brooks Williams is a genre defying guitarist singer songwriter. It’s roots. It’s acoustic. He walks the line between blues and Americana, but there’s a bit of jazz and rockabilly thrown in for good measure. Imagine Doc Watson, Willie Nelson, Lonnie Johnson and Blind Boy Fuller sitting in a bar having a jam — and you’re just about there! He’s he proverbial triple threat: playing a fiery guitar, commanding a rich and silky voice, and writing hook-laden songs. The Statesboro, GA native has toured throughout the world including the USA, Canada, Ireland, the UK, Turkey, France, Italy, The Netherlands and Africa, and has 20 albums to his name. The San Antonio Light says that Williams is a “fret monster who has to be seen to be believed!” “He possesses a melodic virtuosity on the guitar that runs like liquid from his fingers...” (Irish Times). “Dazzling guitar work!” Acoustic Guitar
Eliza Gilkyson is a two time Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and activist who has become one of the most respected musicians in Folk, Roots and Americana circles. The daughter of legendary songwriter Terry Gilkyson, Eliza entered the music world as a teenager, recording demos for her father. Since then she has released 20 recordings of her own, and her songs have been covered by Joan Baez, Bob Geldof, Tom Rush and Rosanne Cash and have been used in films, PBS specials and on prime-time TV. Eliza has appeared on NPR, Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage, etown, XM Radio, Air America Radio and has toured worldwide as a solo artist and in support of Richard Thompson, Patty Griffin, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Dan Fogelberg, as well as with the Woody Guthrie review, Ribbon of Highway-Endless Skyway, alongside the Guthrie Family, Jimmy Lafave, Slaid Cleaves, and special guests Pete Seeger, Jackson Browne and Kris Kristofferson. She has been inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame in the company such legends as Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt and Nanci Griffith and is an ongoing winner of the Austin Chronicle’s various music awards, as well as Folk Alliance awards for Best Artist, Best Songwriter and Record of the Year.
The last time Mark Erelli graced the West Side Folk stage was in a duo with Jeffrey Foucault; a subsequent concert here fell victim to an ice storm. Considering how busy Mark's schedule is as a very in demand sideman, we are excited to get him back on the schedule so soon. Erelli has tackled everything from western swing and protest songs to lullabies and murder ballads, all in a richly expressive voice that Twangville.com heralds as “the male counterpart to Neko Case.” It is a journey that has taken Erelli from church basement coffeehouses to the main stage of the Newport Folk Festival, stopping briefly along the way to sing the national anthem at Fenway Park. Erelli also has a busy career as an in-demand multi-instrumentalist sideman. These days, fans are just as likely to find Erelli backing up Lori McKenna at the Grand Ole Opry, or Josh Ritter at London’s Royal Albert Hall, as they are to see a solo acoustic performance at venerable listening rooms like Harvard Square’s Club Passim. Some might see chasing both a timeless lyric and an exquisite lap steel guitar solo as mutually exclusive endeavors, but not Erelli. “Every time I accompany a great songwriter, I have the best seat in the house,” Erelli explains. “I see how these amazing artists connect with their songs and their audiences from a unique vantage point. For me, every sideman gig is a Master Class, and it makes me a better musician and songwriter.” Sky Smeed was born and raised outside of Chanute, Kan., in an old, one-room schoolhouse his parents bought and turned into a home in the early 1970s. The first music he ever heard came from Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Van Morrison and Merle Haggard. Hearing this roots style of music playing on an old record player has stayed with Sky and is evident when he takes the stage to share his effortless, country tinged tunes of working hard, dogs, love, money, beer, coffee, and the call of the road.
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Support West Side Folk and advertise your support of folk music in general
with a T-shirt, cap, mug, or other item emblazoned with one of our logos.
Available in a range of styles, colors, sizes at
Unity Church (wheelchair accessible)
9th & Madeline (3/8 mile west of Iowa Street on 9th St).
The Pavilion at Lied Center (wheelchair accessible) 1600 Stewart Drive (on KU's West Campus). Directions
Season Tickets save money & give you reserved seats front and center at
each concert! (All other seating is general admission only).
Get all five regular Winter/Spring concerts for just $73 (a twelve dollar savings).
Individual and season tickets are available via mail order or (with credit card) online. Individual tickets will also be available at Mass Street Music in Lawrence.
Send mail orders, with checks made out to West Side Folk, to:
West Side Folk, c/o Bob McWilliams, 3026 Longhorn Drive, Lawrence, KS 66049.
Please include an email address and/or phone number so we confirm receipt of your mail
order. Mail order tickets will be held at door, unless you include a SASE.
Credit card orders: Tickets purchased online via credit card will require
presentation of photo ID and the original credit card, or government-issued photo ID
at the door.